Learn about black women in history through black history movies. These are a few movies that feature historical documentaries of the lives of Black and African-American women in history.
I was pleasantly surprised to find dozens of titles which celebrate, highlight, and explore stories surrounding Black women in history that are well known and ones you may have never heard of.
Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C. J. Walker
Who: Sarah Breedlove AKA Madam C. J. Walker
The true story of entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker, who built a haircare empire that made her the first female African American self-made millionaire | Stream on Netflix
Who: Katherine Goble Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson
Who: Sojourner Truth
‘Truth’ is an Emmy® Award-winning animated short film centering on the iconic speech ‘Ain’t I a Woman‘ delivered by Sojourner Truth at the 1851 women’s convention in Akron Ohio.
Who: Henrietta Lacks
It is based on the book of the same name by Rebecca Skloot and documents the story of Henrietta Lacks, who was diagnosed with cervical cancer in the 1950s, and whose cancer cells (later known as HeLa) would change the course of cancer treatment.
Who: Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley
This historical documentary film about the 15 September 1963 murder of four African-American girls in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, that was bombed by four members of a Ku Klux Klan-affiliated racist group.
Who: Shirley Chisholm
In 1972, Shirley Chisholm announced her candidacy for president of the USA, launching the first-ever run by a woman and person of color for presidential nomination, which, as you’d expect, engendered strong, and sometimes bigoted opposition, setting off currents that affect American politics and social perceptions to this day.
Who: Wangari Maathai
In 2004, Wangari Maathai became the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. The film centers specifically on Maathai, the movement’s founder, as she helps spark a movement to reclaim Kenya’s land from a century of deforestation, while providing new sources of livelihood to rural communities.
Who: Misty Copeland
Nelson George’s documentary explores the rise of Misty Copeland, who made history as the first African American female principal dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theater. It gives audiences an intimate look at a groundbreaking dancer during a crucial period in her life, as she makes the transition.
Check out these Black History Month Worksheets by my friend Kelli at 3 Boys and a Dog.